On my daily grocery shopping trip this morning, I noticed an overabundance of pumpkins practically tumbling out the doors and into the aisles. According to the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS), Americans purchase upwards of 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkins per year, with the majority used for holiday decor that will typically end up in the trash. That’s quite a lot of squash waste!
Luckily, I happened across this fun and silly video from The Cheap Life, where host Jeff Yeager gives us some helpful and handy tips on how to make the most of your pumpkin and maximize the usefulness of your gourd in cheap and delicious ways. His creative culinary ideas include:
1. Roast the pumpkin seeds on your stovetop. It makes use of all those wonderful seeds and saves money on heating the oven.
2. Scrape out the pumpkin pulp, cook, then eat like squash. Many people (including me!) don’t realize that regular pumpkin pulp is delicious when cooked and seasoned properly – a nutritious and efficient use of your Jack-o-Lantern!
3. After Halloween, with pumpkin still fresh, pickle the pumpkin rind. See the video for The Cheap Life’s German recipe for yummy edible picked pumpkin.
Other non-edible pumpkin ideas…
4. Recycle your UN-carved pumpkin and use it for Thanksgiving decor. I often skip carving my pumpkins so that I can then use them for the following month of November. They’re a lovely reminder of the season, staying fresh and delicious all autumn long.
5. Use your Halloween pumpkin as a Thanksgiving centerpiece. See our HomeJelly post on romantic and upcycled pumpkin tablescapes.
6. Carve out your pumpkin to make a flower pot for your Thanksgiving tablescape. It’s a wonderful use for your squash and gives thanks to its utilitarian qualities.
7. Make a fun “Pumpkin Turkey” centerpiece for the “kids’ table”. Remember that once you’re done with Thanksgiving dinner, you can refer to ideas 1 – 3!
8. At the very least…compost! Refer to this great step-by-step by DwellSmart on the proper ways to compost your pumpkins.
Note: for those of us who don’t want to make a compost pile, we can still follow these steps, but then place the compost items into our green (grass and yard clippings) trash containers using BioBags, where they will later be used for city composting.
ExtraNote: be sure to check with your city about food composting. If there is no current program, you can certainly request one for your area.
Now, enjoy this fun and informative pumpkin video from The Cheap Life…!